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calendar   Wednesday - May 11, 2011

No Wonder They Never Visit BMEWS

Prison Labor Farms NorK’s Cash Crop: Heroin




Axis of Evil much? The “legitimate” government of North Korea is involved in narcotics trafficking. Class act.

Pinched by tightening economic sanctions and faced with what might become a contentious transition of power, North Korea is ramping up production of one of its key foreign currency generators—heroin.

When satellite photos were released last week by Amnesty International showing the rogue nation’s prison camp system, some analysts were surprised by the expansion of agricultural lands around the camps.

“What was really surprising,” one satellite analyst, who studied the images but asked not to be identified, said, “was how farming acreage on the land around the Yodok camp had expanded. These are poppy fields and have been since we first looked at the camp in 2001.”

That assessment was underscored by Chuck Downs, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, who said that the regime’s military, which runs the camps and the nation’s illicit heroin production, “do not allow food production by prisoners because they would steal it. They would rather grow drugs.”

Most analysts agree that the expansion of the drug-producing fields is a sign of a regime in deep economic trouble.

Because of the secrecy of the regime there are no firm figures on drug profits, but estimates put the earnings on exports of heroin from $500 million to $1 billion annually.

“To put that in context,” Bruce Klingner, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, pointed out that “the total for legitimate exports is estimated at around $1 billion annually.”

North Korea first turned to large scale heroin production in the mid 1990s when the nation’s manufacturing sector collapsed. Kim Jong Il, the nation’s dictator, decided that the heroin was the quicker way to make up for the export losses and ordered all collective farms to dedicate 12 acres to poppy production.
...
Over the past dozen years more than 50 Korean diplomats or other state workers have been caught carrying drugs into more than 20 countries, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
...
According to Klingner, one of the reasons that happens is that foreign embassies for the regime get no state funding for their legations.

“Diplomats are expected to fund themselves,” he said. “And this is one way they do it.”

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/11/2011 at 08:36 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeEconomicsNorth-Korea •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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